Thoreau said, "My greatest skill has been to want but little."
This is profound.
When we chalk up our lives, we look at all our accomplishments: play an instrument, cook fantastic meals, sing gorgeous songs, build wonderful structures, teach school, write books.
We think of doctors, lawyers, nurses and politicians. Investors, painters, web designers.
But, Thoreau felt his skill of minimalism, his satisfaction with voluntary simplicity, to be his greatest. No doubt his carbon footprint hardly registered at all.